How to Choose the Right Catheter

Not all Catheters are the Same

When you're new to catheterization, it makes sense to know what makes one catheter more right for you than another.

Starting with intermittent self-catheterization (IC) involves for most people an initial adjustment of the daily routines to the new treatment. IC becomes a part of your everyday life and the catheter you use has to fit in and make it as easy and comfortable as possible for you to go about it. The catheter should be fitted to your needs, and not the other way around! This will make the process of integrating IC into your life much easier.

Checklist when Choosing a Catheter

When you’re about to choose your catheter for self-catheterization you may want to prepare yourself with a couple of questions that you can ask the urology nurse, before you step into the urology clinic. The following checklist can be of guidance in your meeting.


Proven long–term safety

Is there clinical evidence to support that the catheter I’m about to use on a frequent (or daily) basis is safe for me long-term?

Hydrophilic coating for maximum comfort and minimum harm to the urethra during catheterization

Does the catheter have a hydrophilic coating that stays slippery both at insertion and at withdrawal of the catheter, to protect my urethra and give me the most comfort?

The softness of the catheter

Is the catheter pliable enough to not harm my urethra (and cause, for example, trauma or bleeding)?


Tube length (cm./in.), is important for handling and complete bladder emptying in order to avoid infections

What will be the length of the catheter to give me stable handling and at the same time ensure complete bladder emptying, which will give me better protection against infections?

Tube width (CH/FR), for better emptying

What width of the catheter should I use?


Handling aid for a steady grip and non-touch technique (minimized bacterial contamination) when catheterizing

Does this catheter offer a handling aid that gives me a good grip for better and safer handling?

Lifestyle Needs

Fitting into your lifestyle 

Will this catheter be easy to integrate into my lifestyle? Is it discreet enough? Can I fold it together and put it in my pocket? Does it have a hanging function? Does it have all the things I need (water, collection bag, handling aid, etc.)?